My theory on the Joker's real identity in TDK


Active Member
Hey everyone,

I've got a theory I'd like to share with you about the Joker's real identity in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight.

So there have been some theories about who he might be, but they're very vague and not very satisfying, so I thought about it a lot and once I'd bought a book called "The Dark Knight Manual: Tools, Weapons, Vehicles and Documents from the Batcave", my theory finally came together.

I'd like to preface this by saying that Christopher Nolan has packed this trilogy full of references to heaps and heaps of Batman characters, some subtle and some not, and this theory sort of relies on that as well as a few other small references to DC canon. The rest is made up by me, so I'm not claiming that this is what Nolan had in mind, I'm just saying that this is the way I view the character and the series now that I've thought about it.

I've got a full article that I wrote on my website, and it would mean a lot to me if you could read that, as I go into a lot more detail there:

But basically, the theory is that Heath Ledger's Joker in the Dark Knight is Dick Grayson. This is what he would've become without Batman's guidance and moral compass. I've always thought of Nolan's world as sort of an alternate universe kinda thing which explains why so much of it is so different to the established canon: it's not "the" Batman, it's Nolan's version of Batman.

Basically, I made up a bit of back story but there are quite a few things that add up and match and go together really well, both canon elements and events from Dick Grayson's past in the comics, and facts about the Joker that were released as an official part of Nolan's world.

So, there you go...

Please, read the article I wrote because it's got a lot of "evidence" and things backing it up and I put a lot of time and effort into it.

And please let me know what you think because I haven't received any feedback from anyone on this theory at all haha, so I have no idea if it's actually awesome or if I'm just being biased :p

Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy my theory!



Master Member
Well written and a good idea, but since you asked for feedback--nah, I don't buy it, nor would I care for it being correct.


Master Member
I appreciate the work but I can't buy that theory; seems to be reaching too much.

Personally, I actually thought they gave too much away in the movie, as it was, just from the lines he says. You don't have to follow me here but this is what I thought: no records of him in Gotham implies that he could've been born into abject poverty (as glimpsed in the Slums in BB), went into crime early, stayed low until he got cocky and started "ripping off mob dealers", mob catches him, beats him to an inch of his life and possibly giving him his scars ("whatever doesn't kill you makes you stranger"), and he dons the persona of a clown. Kinda like the '89 Joker idea that the man who becomes the Joker was always a bad guy but after a serious incident, he finds a more creative outlet for his nastiness. He does what he does until Batman comes along which only gives him more incentive to up his game, leading to the events of the film.

All my problems with TDK and that interpretation of the Joker in the film aside, that makes sense to me.
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